The paper presents a mechanistic/deterministic model for simulation of mass removal during air sparging. From the point of numerical modeling, there are two issues considering air sparging: modeling of air flow and distribution and modeling of mass transport and transfer. Several processes, which are commonly neglected, such as air channeling and pollutant advection by the water phase, are taken into account. The numerical model presented in this paper considers all relevant for mass transfer during the air sparging. Model includes hydrodynamics of air and water phase; calculated air volume content is divided into a number of air channels surrounded by the water phase, which is divided into two compartments. First compartment is immobile and it is in contact with air phase, while the second compartment is mobile. This “mobile-immobile” formulation is a common approach for description of solute transport by groundwater. Mass transfer between two water compartments is modeled as a first order kinetic, where the mass transfer coefficient, representing diffusion and advection in the water phase towards the air channels, is parameter needed to be calibrated. Sorption for both water compartments is considered.
The adopted model of contaminant evaporation at the air-water interface is verified by comparison with experimental results available from published sources. Model is used for simulation of two-dimensional air sparging laboratory experiment. Good overall agreement is observed. It is showed that the efficiency of air sparging can be influenced by natural groundwater flow.